Swarthmore College Department of

Peace & Conflict Studies Blog

Swarthmore Presbyterian Hosts Free Peacemaking Conference October 18 -20, 2013

The upcoming Peacemaking Conference at Swarthmore Presbyterian Church features several members of the Swarthmore College community, past and present! The conference is open to the public and within walking distance of our campus.

Swarthmore Presbyterian Hosts Free Peacemaking Conference October 18 -20, 2013

A three-day peacemaking conference, “Conflict, Faith, Peace,” October 18, 19, and 20, at the Swarthmore Presbyterian Church (SPC) will be led by Dr. Patrick Henry, former member and elder of the church and professor of religion at Swarthmore College from 1967 to 1984.

Download a poster or conference schedule.

Dr. Henry will introduce the overall scope of the conference at 7:30 on Friday evening, October 18.  He says that “The conference will portray peacemaking and the life of faith in a way that neither masks the ambiguities nor despairs at the difficulties, so that people are inspired and energized for effective and sustained individual and collective effort.”

Saturday morning will feature brief presentations by Dorie Friend, president of Swarthmore College 1973-82; Doug Bedell, a journalist and former elder of the church; and Susan Landau, a psychotherapist and a member of Congregation Mishkan Shalom in Philadelphia.

Saturday afternoon will begin with a production of a portion of the play Protest by Vaclav Havel, who in a short space of time moved from prison to the presidency of Czechoslovakia.  There will be brief presentations by Albert Manwaring, a lawyer and army veteran who served in Iraq, and Anne Yoder, Mennonite and archivist of the Swarthmore College Peace Collection.  The afternoon will conclude with a video on peacemaking created by youth in the church.

Dr. Henry, who from 1984 through 2004 was executive director of the Collegeville [Minnesota] Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Research, will sum up the conference in SPC’s education hour at 9:30 Sunday morning and preach at the 10:30 service of worship.

All parts of the conference are free and open to the public, thanks to contributions to SPC’s peacemaking committee in memory of Barkley Fritz and Margaret Getaz, lifelong peacemakers and members of the church, which is located at 727 Harvard Avenue in Swarthmore.  Advance registration is requested. (Phone: 610.541.0113 or 610.544.7447 or email peacemaking@swarthmorepres.org)

On the Sunday preceding the conference (October 6), SPC will host Dr. Jennifer Karsten, executive director of Pendle Hill in Wallingford, who will speak at the education hour.  She will reflect on the peacemaking efforts of the Quaker education, retreat, and conference center since its founding in 1930.

On October 27, a week after the conference, Shervin Malekzadeh, a member of the political science faculty at Swarthmore College, will lead a discussion on the current situation in Syria and the Middle East at 9:30 a.m.  Guests are welcome at both sessions and for worship immediately following at 10:30.